Yesterday was a bad day! We woke up and were about to start the school run by running to the car, only to find out that the said car looked a bit funny. Actually, more than a bit. The front side was broken, with red traces all over. Then, we noticed a paper on the windscreen. No less than three passers-by had seen a C10 red bus hit our Chelsea tractor without stopping. They all had left their numbers. We spend some time dealing with insurance companies and, thanks to the lovely witnesses, the bus company has accepted liability (in writing, baby!). Now, I just have to wait for them to pick it up and repair it. Come to think of it, the whole episode was very rock’n’roll, true London style!
You have got to love the British kindness. In France, I would have been lucky to have one number. Come to think of it, I have had plenty of opportunities to see such kindness in action over here. My perception is that people are kinder this side of the Channel. I remember that, once, the school closed because of a burst pipe and by 8.15 am I had had 3 mums calling me to warn me and offering to babysit the little one. How cool is this?
Don’t get me wrong, over here too you get the occasional parasite; usually it’s someone who never does a thing and rely on you for the school run/pick up after parties/everything else without even offering to do anything at all in exchange. But it remains quite rare. Maybe I have just been lucky so far. I am glass-half-full sort of person. I am pleased that three kind-hearted persons helped us and I prefer not to think about the bus driver who didn’t even stop despite, as one witness put it ‘a dramatic bang’.
So, why are people kinder and, overall, more helpful? I simply don’t know. It is probably because in France, the state takes care of everything. There is less need for solidarity. Maybe it is because my attitude has changed: I can’t rely on my family to help me over here, and as a result I have to be more social and less shy. In London, in an emergency, people will always at least have a kind word and they will try to help in any way they can.
So, once again, a big thank you to the three lovely witnesses and to all the persons who have supported me over time!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London